A boy looks at a website on a laptop

10 Best ESL Websites for Kids

If you’re an ESL teacher or the parent of a child learning English, you don’t have to go at it alone.

These days, there are tons of useful websites for ESL students to practice all aspects of the English language.

Keep reading to discover the 10 best websites for ESL students and some tips for using them at home or at school.


Funbrain-logo 1. Fun Brain

There are over 100 interactive activities here to help kids from preschool to grade 8 develop skills in English literacy. Not only that, but there’s a wide variety of books children can read directly on the website, such as “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.”

Even the arcade games allow children a chance to practice their reading in order to play games successfully. All the games are safe for kids, and they encourage children to manipulate the keyboard and mouse so they can learn to be independent on the computer.

Featured resource: Grammar Gorillas, a game where players have to recognize parts of speech to feed bananas to gorillas.

Tip for home use: Have your child pick a game from the arcade section and practice reading instructions so they can complete games independently.

Tip for school use: Pick an appropriate book or comic on the site to read to small groups or the whole class.

esl websites for kids2. PBS Kids

It’s worth it to spend time digging through all the interactive resources that this website has to offer, featuring resources such as writing contests, videos, apps and digital resources for educators.

It’s not specifically made for ESL students, but the activities are simple and engaging enough for English learners to play along while picking up new words and phrases.

Featured resource: For really young learners, check out “Work It Out Wombats!” This cute series follows a family of problem-solving wombats and comes with printables, activities and games. 

Tip for home use: Explore the PBS Parents section where you can get tips and activities to help your child learn, all organized by age. There are over 800 crafts and even fun recipes you can make with your child. Use their birthday party materials to organize an English-only get-together for your child and their friends or classmates.

Tip for school use: Explore PBS Learning Media, where PBS has teamed up with leading educational developers to provide free resources such as infographics, videos and interactive games to use in the classroom.

British-Council-Logo3. LearnEnglish Kids — British Council

This free resource is full of engaging material and a huge variety of activities for kids of any age. The activities cover the breadth of language skills and all of them can be adapted for home or classroom use.

Featured resource: The “Print and make” section, where you’ll find crafts, flashcards, worksheets and coloring pages your English learner(s) can use at home or at school.

Tip for home use: Check out the Parents section, where you can find expert advice on helping your child learn English, information about English courses and a plethora of resources you can use at home.

Tip for school use: Use the “Word of the week” to teach your students a new word at the beginning of every class. You can also print many of the exercises to give to students as homework.

esl websites for kids 4. Raz-Kids by Learning A-Z

Although this website requires a subscription to access its full features, it’s worth it if you have multiple children or teach classes of varying literacy levels. You can print books according to levels and topics, create your own books and search for appropriate benchmark tests.

Featured resource: Their three-part process to determine the appropriate level of texts for your students and when they’re ready to move up to the next level.

Tip for home use: Work with your child using the read-aloud texts before bedtime or while you’re on the go, during road trips or commutes.

Tip for school use: Create accounts for each student to keep track of progress and assign individual activities within the parameters of your class, or as a supplemental resource. 

ABC-Ya-logo5. ABC Ya

This free website helps children from PreK to 6th grade learn a variety of subjects including English. There are over 300 games organized by theme (animals, food, sports, etc.), plus handouts, writing prompts, and more.

You can also purchase a monthly Premium Family or Classroom Plan to get rid of ads and get full mobile access for multiple devices.

Featured resource: Common Core Standards. Here, you can choose your child’s or students’ grade level, subject (such as English language arts) and a specific skill like language or writing. You’ll be shown a list of standards, such as “Form and use the simple verb tenses,” plus games they can play that will help them develop that specific skill. 

Tip for home use: Find out what your child is learning at school, and have them play games at home that align with that vocabulary theme or language skill. If you’re homeschooling, use the Common Core Standards to keep your child on track.

Tip for school use: If you have a TV or projector in your classroom, you can play certain games like crossword puzzles as a class. Or you can print them out and distribute them. Use the holiday-themed crossword puzzles to celebrate the holidays as they come up, and the other thematic games to reinforce vocabulary. 

scholastic-logo 6. Scholastic Kids

Separated by resources for parents and teachers, Scholastic Kids features activities such as reading contests, interactive scrapbook games and printables.

Featured resource: Home Base. A free, educational space where kids can interact with their favorite stories, characters and fellow fans. You can get the mobile app or download it directly onto your computer.

Tip for home use: Check out Scholastic’s Parents section where you’ll find a plethora or resources and tips to help your child get the most out of the resources on the website. 

Tip for school use: Check out the section of the website dedicated to educators, where you’ll find a variety of teaching materials including comprehensive reading guides and even personalized consulting from education experts who can help you take your teaching to the next level.

7. Highlights Kids

esl websites for kids The website is equally as fun as the activities featured in their monthly print magazine. Resources include animated stories, a poetry maker and a section where kids can send in their work and be featured on the website.

Featured resource: Hidden Pictures, where children have to look for images hidden inside a larger picture.

Tip for home use: Play Hidden Pictures with your child to help with vocabulary building.

Tip for school use: Create listening and reading stations so students can listen along to different stories and poems.

8. Breaking News English

All the materials on Breaking News English are based on news headlines and current events from around the world. Most news stories are available in three or four different reading levels. Plus, each story comes with a variety of handouts and activities to practice listening, reading, grammar, spelling and vocabulary.

As an added bonus, users can complete online quizzes and download stories as mp3 files. For extra listening practice, check out the site’s podcast.

Featured resource: Speed Reading Lessons. Choose from different news articles to help with reading fluency.

Tip for home use: Have your child pick a story they’re interested in, or pick one for them based on their interests. Encourage your child to read by rewarding them with a corresponding game at the end.

Tip for school use: Break up the class into reading abilities and read the same story with different levels. Students can then pair up or get together in groups of three to summarize the text and complete discussion questions together.

For more news articles for English learners, visit this post: 

9. Literactive

This website features reading resources for children from preschool to first grade. There are guided reading materials and supplemental reading resources as well as phonic activities so kids can have fun while completing levels. Everything is developed by teachers and parents in the US, so you can rest assured that the resources have been tested.

Featured resource: Road to Reading. Download this program featuring interactive activities to help children develop phonemic skills.

Tip for home use: Register for a free account and download games for you and your child to play together.

Tip for school use: Download full resources for guided reading activities for your class.

10. International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL)

Featuring one of the largest collections of free books for children, the website has made it so that anyone can access their books, even without registering. Users can search for books according to language, age level and genre. You can sign up for an account where you can bookmark books and save your favorites for later reading.

Featured resource: Books by Language, where you can find bilingual books in your learner’s native language and English. With text in both languages, early learners can follow the story while picking up English as they read.

Tip for home use: Have your child read to you (or vice versa) before they go to bed at night. If they find a book they like, have them read the same one for extra fluency practice.

Tip for school use: Have each student sign up for an individual account and save searches to use during independent reading time or during guided reading groups.

How Can Children Learn English Using Websites?

  • Work together, learn together. Adults forget sometimes that they need to model the behavior they want to see in children. If your student or child never sees you being interested in using the resources you provide them, how can you expect them to be interested at all?

    Start off with exploring websites together and learning how to use the games or activities together. The more you’re involved with the learning process, the more your child or student will be motivated to explore on their own eventually.

  • Find topics that interest the student. Make sure you spend time with your children or students to figure out what they’re personally interested in the most, which is the key to motivation. Cater website resources to what they like, as well as to what they need to work on the most.

    For example, on FluentU, you can assign authentic English videos as homework. This allows you to cater the topic to each individual student, whether you think they’ll enjoy learning with a music video or a TED talk.

    FluentU’s videos are optimized for students with interactive subtitles (allowing students to click on any word to see its meaning and add it to a flashcard deck), as well as multimedia transcripts, keyword banks and personalized exercises following each video and flashcard deck.

  • Make it fun. Find some way, any way, to make websites as interactive as possible (because not all of them are set up for interaction). Try turning games into friendly competitions between adults and kids, and you might see that this can help revive interest in learning English.
  • Go outside. Sometimes all it takes is a change in scenery to motivate children. Take a mobile device or your laptop to places like a park, or even your back porch, and watch children get excited about practicing their English.
  • Don’t take too long. Children have shorter attention spans than adults. If you make them focus on something too long, they’ll lose interest. It’ll eventually feel like they’re being forced into an activity, and children will rebel against practicing their English. If you’re doing lessons, limit activities to 10 minutes or less. For activities where they’re reinforcing skills already learned, spend no more than 20 to 30 minutes a day doing these, depending on their age.


Helping your child learn English can be fun if you provide them with the right stimulation and tools.

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